While the city of Jackson cancelled the Fall Festival and Christmas Parade over concerns about COVID-19, the Rivers Ranch is still getting into the Christmas spirit with their 4th annual Christmas at the Ranch on Saturday, Nov. 21, and the Butts County Chamber or Commerce and Butts County Parks and Recreation Department are planning a Reverse Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 4.
Everyone is invited out to the Rivers Ranch’s annual Christmas at the Ranch for a day filled with arts and crafts vendors, free photos with Santa Claus, great food vendors, games, and live music. Entry is $4 per person and children under 12 are free. All gate proceeds will benefit Butts Mutts.
Vendors will be spaced for social distancing and hand sanitizing stations will be located around the venue. Masks are encouraged. The Rivers Ranch asks that if you are in an “at risk group” or not feeling well, to please stay home.
Christmas at the Ranch will be held at The Rivers Ranch, 1959 Highway 42 North in Jackson on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Traditionally at Christmas, people brave the cold to line the streets of Jackson for the Christmas Parade. But with large groups being discouraged due to the pandemic and the traditional parade cancelled, this year the Butts County Chamber of Commerce and Butts County Parks and Recreation have come up with the next best thing — The Reverse Christmas Parade 2020!
Instead of bundling up and sitting or standing while watching decorated floats and trailers roll by down the street, people can view the parade from the comfort and warmth of their own vehicles as they drive by the floats and trailers sitting in Daughtry Park from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5.
Drivers will enter the park from Alabama Boulevard, weave through the park and be entertained all the way before they exit by the Butts County Sheriff’s Office onto Hwy. 16.
Organizations and groups wanting to participate in the parade are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application. All applications for participation need to be submitted to the chamber by 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.
For more questions on either event, call the chamber at 770-775-4839 or email them at email@example.com.
Butts County voters favored Republican candidates in national and state races in Tuesday’s General Election. In the two locally contested races, voters were split, with Sheriff Gary Long, a Republican, winning, and District 2 Commissioner Robert Henderson, a Democrat, winning.
Voters chose President Trump over Democrat Joe Biden by a wide margin, as well as Senator David Perdue over Democrat Jon Ossoff and Senator Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins over Democrat Raphael Warnock.
In the race for U.S. House District 10, Congressman Jody Hice, carried Butts County by a wide margin over Democrat Tabitha Johnson-Green.
Butts County voters turned out en masse with a total of 11,822 of the 17,154 registered voters in Butts County, or 68.92%, casting ballots in the multiple local, state and national contests.
Thanks to the efficient work of Elections Supervisor Tina Lunsford and her staff, Butts County was the first metro Atlanta county to finish and publish results last night.
Butts County Sheriff Gary Long will remain in office for another term after handily defeating Democrat challenger Jack Gilroy in the General Election. Long easily won reelection with 8,724 votes (75%) to Gilroy’s 2,902 votes (25%).
District 2 Commissioner Robert Lewis Henderson Sr. barely held onto his post as challenger Mary Atkins came within 25 votes of unseating him. Henderson collected 985 votes of the 1,945 cast, with Atkins earning the other 960 votes. Henderson won with 50.6% of the votes to Atkins’ 49.3%.
Incumbent Republican Burt Jones won reelection with 69.59% of the votes (60,032) in the nine-county district. Democrat challenger Veronica Brinson picked up 32% of the votes (28,296). Jones won in eight of the nine counties in the district, with only Bibb County coming out in favor of Brinson. In Butts County, Jones took 8,488 votes, or 73.9% to Brinson’s 2,993 votes, or 26.6%.
In House District 110, which includes parts of Butts, Henry and Newton counties, Republican Clint Crowe won with 55.98% of the vote (15,635) to Democrat Ebony Carter’s 44.02% (12,294). Crowe carried Butts with more than 81% of the vote (4,634) and Henry by a slim margin of 141 votes, but Carter carried Newton with 52.96% (3,658).
In House District 129, which includes parts of Butts, Jasper, Jones and Monroe counties, incumbent Republican Susan Holmes won reelection with 69.59% of the votes (18,943). Democrat challenger Sharonda Bell had 26.27% (7,150), and Independent challenger Joe Reed had 4.14% (1,128). Holmes carried all four counties. In Butts, Holmes won with 3,669 votes, or 62.5%, to Bell’s 1,946 votes, or 33.1%, and Reed’s 250 votes, or 4%.
Incumbent Republican Jody Hice won reelection in the 25-county district with 62.41% of the votes (230,871). Democrat challenger Tabitha Johnson-Green had 37.59% (130.033). Hice carried Butts County with 72.78% (8,317) to Johnson-Green’s 27.22% (3,110).
Results in Butts County ONLY for President and the two Senate races were:
Donald J. Trump (I) (R) — 71.4% (8,403)
Joseph R. Biden (D) — 27.8% (3,271)
Jo Jorgenson (L) — 0.77% (91)
U.S. Senate (Perdue)
David A. Perdue (I) (R) — 71.36% (8,326)
Jon Ossoff (D) — 26.80% (3,127)
Shane Hazel (L) — 1.84% (215)
U.S. Senate (Loeffler) — Special
Kelly Loeffler (I) (R) — 39.2% (4,539)
Doug Collins (R) — 27.49% (3,190)
Raphael Warnock (D) — 19.02% (2,207)
Results of the race statewide have Loeffler and Warnock finishing first and second respectively, and they will be in a run off on Jan. 5.
Wet weather didn’t stop a small crowd from turning out for Jackson’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony and 2020 Plaque Dedication at the Veterans Memorial Park Saturday morning.
This year’s program honored a total of 21 veterans. Eight of them are related: brothers Teddy D. and James Norris, brothers Calvin and Jerry Webb, William Towles and his son, William Towles Jr., and Roger Bourne and his son-in-law Kenneth Owens.
Following the presentation of the colors by the Jackson High School NJROTC Color Guard and the playing of the National Anthem by Dylan Steinfeld of Bugles Across America, Mayor Kay Pippin welcomed everyone to the ceremony.
“I can think of no better purpose to bring us all together as a group of family and friends and neighbors than to share this event together,” Pippin said. “One people united by the love we share for our country, united by our pride in being Americans, and thankful to God Almighty and the men and women we are honoring today for our freedoms. It has been said that America without her soldiers would be like God without angels.”
Jackson councilman Theodore Patterson gave the dedication prayer, and CDR Matt Jordan, head of the JHS NJROTC program, led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Adams was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Adams has an extensive military career beginning in September of 1992 and continuing today. His highly decorated career includes assignments in Guantanamo Bay supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, FEMA Region Four Homeland Response Force and his current assignment as Domestic Operations with the Joint Staff of the Georgia National Guard.
Adams is also the District Attorney for the Towaliga Judicial Circuit. Adams resides in Forsyth with his family, and his wife, Meredith, accompanied him to the ceremony.
Adams said as America commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II this year, we must also remember the contributions of veterans from the ‘greatest generation.’
“World War II changed a generation of people,” Adams said. “Sixteen million Americans officially served in it, and that doesn’t count all of the contractors and civilian laborers back home who supported it. The Department of Veterans Affairs says that of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, about 300,000 are still with us. Once their service was over, they came home, married, and had families, some of whom are in this audience today.
“Regardless of the military branch our veterans have served — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard — this day belongs to them. Generations of patriots have dedicated themselves to the defense of our country, making us stronger and more resilient as a nation.
“Soldiers live by the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” Adams continued. “They do not leave behind their values and skills when they transition to civilian life. Right now, all around the country, veterans serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, community leaders, first responders, and elected officials. They continue to serve our communities by making positive contributions, building stronger futures, and inspiring future generations.
“Each year, we set this day aside all across the country to celebrate and pay tribute to America’s veterans for their devotion, patriotism, selfless service, and sacrifice on behalf of us all. Our nation’s veterans have, throughout our history, kept us free, returned home, and continued to serve our nation in a multitude of ways. Today we say thanks to them all.”
Kathy Pittman, daughter of Teddy D. Norris, read the names on the new plaques. Pittman noted that her son Logan, who is currently in the military and serving in Japan, was watching the ceremony by video. She said as a surprise to her son, they have reserved the space next to her father for when her son returns home and in two years will have his plaque next to his grandfather’s.
Veterans honored with plaques this year are:
♦ Ralph R. Allen
♦ Tommy L. Allen
♦ Johnny Hammond Barnes
♦ Roger I. Bourne
♦ Will Cash
♦ William Neal Hamby Sr.
♦ Jack Hendrix
♦ Lamar C. Hogan
♦ James R. Norris Sr.
♦ Teddy D. Norris
♦ Robert E. Nowlin
♦ Kenneth R. Owens
♦ Russell Lee Price
♦ Paul S. Reamer
♦ Charlton “Big D” Smith Sr.
♦ William M. Towles
♦ William M. Towles Jr.
♦ Calvin L. Webb
♦ Jerry L. Webb
♦ Charles L. Williams
♦ Horace N. Wise
Following the reading of the plaques, CDR. Jordan placed a wreath at the memorial wall that bears the names of people who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and the War on Terrorism. Steinfeld ended the program by playing Taps.